A Guild Wars 2 Reddit user took it upon themselves to memory-hack Guild Wars 2 to find out what is up with scaling and player death. It seems that the Guild Wars 2 client is actually sent the numbers for the enemy’s health, but those numbers are kept hidden for good reason.
Guild Wars 2 is all about inclusivity, and seeing a number can have a detrimental effect. When a player runs up to hit a mob to help another player this should be a good transaction even if the mob’s health goes up bit. Seeing the mob’s health go up in number is more off-putting than noticing the per-player DPS affects a smaller portion of the over all health as the health bar goes down.
However, there is a secret mechanic, which should not be secret. Or, it should have been kept secret, but now it’s not. How does dying affect scaling?
Most players can understand that events scale based on activity of fellow players. The easiest and most apparent way to see this is to play in an event where items need to be turned in. I’ve noticed that as a solo event, ArenaNet really likes to keep the number around 10 as chunks of 1/10ths go up for each thing turned in. If another player joins in the event, the player should easily notice that the chunk-per-turn-in is less. A good example is the beetle slaughter in Dry Top.
The same goes for enemy health to some hidden degree, especially boss health. What Wethospu_ did was put up a simple UI element that read targeted enemy health. The results were that, in part, dying kept a boss scaled up for at least 15 minutes if the dead player’s corpse stayed in the event area. Waypointing out of the event area was an instantaneous downscale.
For all my years of playing Guild Wars 2, the best I had guessed was that after a player died the event would re-adjust after a minute or less. How wrong was I?
This is upsetting to me particularly because Guild Wars 2 is so inclusive. I can imagine a punishment for the dead, but not to this degree. Players are going to be righteously screaming for the dead to go away. The mechanics reinforce their yelling at dead players to get gone.
It’s double-punishment. No longer is it reasonable for a dead player to stay and cheer on the event, or to sit on the edge of their seat praying for a success. They died, which sucks, and now their inclusion is making it worse for all the players still trying to succeed.
It gets even worse because the most evidence the community has is from “illegal” testing. ArenaNet has only hinted, buried in the forums and elsewhere, at the event’s ability to re-adjust on death and the benefit of waypointing. What if this data is wrong? How is the community to know?
I think generally players have been trained to lay there dead so they can be resurrected. Sure, when it’s a complete wipe and no one is moving for miles, then it is time to waypoint. However, time and time again in the core game, players seem to be taught to hang around. This is especially true where shiny lootable bodies exist just out of reach (since dead). Everybody knows that one shiny body you waypoint away from is a precursor.
What I feel ArenaNet needs is a transparent mechanic. It could be that, regardless of waypointing or not, a dead player will upscale an event for 15-seconds. After that duration the event will downscale regardless if the player’s corpse remains or has waypointed. There should not be a special rule for waypointing. A death is a death.
This mechanic can be taught on the death screen where everything becomes a nice shade of gray. “Affecting the world for 15 seconds” countdown or the like. I’m sure better mechanics could be considered.
Still, I feel we are heading towards a not so good path where players are going to get more acidic when people die. If the open world is even more difficult in Heart of Thorns player are going to want every edge, inclusivity be damned.
“You are ruining my enjoyment and making things harder with your corpse!”
“Come rez me, bro”